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Euro 2008

DW staff / AFP (tt)
March 1, 2007

One third of the tickets for the Euro 2008 championship finals being jointly hosted by Austria and Switzerland went on sale Thursday but fans were told by the organizers not to rush.

Euro 2008 cup
Euro 2008 will be jointly hosted by Austria and SwitzerlandImage: pa / dpa

The first batch of 330,000 tickets was opened for sale by internet on www.euro2008.com until March 31, but will not be allocated on a "first come, first served" basis, the Euro 2008 SA organizing company said.

"It makes no difference if you ask for the tickets on the first or last day of this period," said Christian Schmölzer, head of the tournament in Austria. "There's a whole month to do it all and no reason to rush."

Applicants can order a maximum of one match a day for the tournament next year and up to four tickets a match.

With demand expected to exceed supply for some matches, a lottery will determine the successful applications. Officials said successful ticket buyers would know by the end of April.

Resisting the black market

UEFA had earlier warned the public against purchasing tickets through any other channel on the black market.

Press conference regarding the launch of ticket sales
Christian Schmölzer, Austrian Director of the Euro2008, left, told the fans not to rushImage: AP

"The products being offered by other companies, or on other platforms, are not part of, or related to, the official ticket sales program," UEFA said in a statement.

"Supporters are strongly recommended not to buy tickets through these channels."

Another 38 percent of the 1.05 million tickets will be allocated to national associations of the 16 teams that qualify.

"Since the stadiums are relatively small, our aim was to ensure that the largest possible percentage of tickets would go to supporters," said Swiss organizer Christian Mutschler.

Tickets will carry the name of the buyer in an attempt to prevent misuse.

Preventing the hooligans

Swiss football federation secretary Peter Gillieron told news agency AFP that fellow associations and national authorities were well placed to regulate organized attempts to purchase tickets for potential hooligans.

The fact that the first batch was being sold before fans knew who would qualify -- apart from the Austrians and Swiss, who are in groups A and B -- and by lottery, was likely to be an added deterrent, he added.

The draw for the tournament is due in December after the qualifiers are known.

"They have no idea if the team is playing or where they're playing," Gillieron explained.

The outstanding 29 percent of tickets will go to sponsors and other partners, special hospitality suites and guests in the mainly 30,000 capacity stadiums, with 50,000 seats for the final in Vienna.

Map of places cities in which Euro 2008 matches will be played
Places where the Euro 2008 games will be playedImage: UEFA

Local needs

Local officials in Switzerland said they were already facing demands for the one percent of tickets allocated to authorities in the eight host cities -- Basel, Bern, Geneva and Zurich in Switzerland as well as Innsbruck, Klagenfurt, Salzburg and Vienna, in Austria. Each one gets 750 tickets per match for local inhabitants.

Ticket prices range from 45 euros ($60) to 110 euros during the group phase and up to 550 euros during the knockout matches in the final rounds.

Apart from individual match tickets, "Follow My Team" tickets are also on offer for the duration of a group or the whole tournament from June 7 to 29. The organizers said FMT orders would be cancelled if the requested team does not qualify.